Thursday, 24 January 2013

Flying with a Toddler

Whilst the UK had a field day in the snow, Family Biddle jetted off for some winter sun in Iceland. Yes, the temperatures were actually higher in Reykjavik - who would have guessed that when we booked our flights. I'll do a proper post on the marvellous time we had with some top tips in case you fancy a visit in the future. But to kick us off, I thought I'd share a couple of (not very revolutionary) little discoveries about flying and travelling with a toddler.
I had to fly solo on the way there as Mr B was already in Reykjavik for work, and I thought I had it all planned and sorted. As we were flying from Heathrow (Bristol don't fly to Reykjavik), we stayed overnight with friends near Reading in the hope that B wouldn't fall asleep in the car on the way to the airport. Our flight was scheduled for 1pm so I planned to pretty much starve him until we got on the plane and then give him his lunch once we were in the air, thus killing some time before hopefully getting him off to sleep. All was going well with this plan until we woke up to snow. Lots of it. So we headed off early, driving very slowly, and reached Heathrow in plenty of time. As we watched the boards our flight time got later and later, and we were hugely lucky that it wasn't cancelled as so many other flights were. We pottered round the airport, bought a new book (What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson which is fantastic), watched the snow and the planes, ate our lunch, and B charmed many fellow passengers by playing peekaboo. After sitting still on a grounded plane for an hour and a half, we finally lifted into the air three and a half hours late, at which point B passed out in my arms and slept for the majority of the three hour flight. What a star.
So the lesson to self here is ... you can plan all you like but sometimes you have to chuck them out of the window and go with the flow.
I packed B his own little rucksack which contained the following items, all of which proved useful for the journey and the holiday.

  • Favourite snacks, food, milk and a sports bottle of water - weirdly he loves playing with and drinking from the tops on these bottles.
  • Books - I chose smaller lighter ones
  • Child friendly headphones (I bought these Groov-e ones) to plug into my iPhone and did a couple of test runs with him before we left home so he'd get used to wearing them.
  • Little toy cars
  • Finger Puppets (Ikea do awesome ones)
  • A small bag filled with enough Duplo bricks to build a tower. They're not very heavy and he was in tower building heaven for a lot of the trip.
  • His favourite cuddly toys - Owly, Bun and Quack Quack.
Along with these, I also went with a fully charged iPhone filled with distractions. I downloaded some episodes of his favourite TV show from iTunes (Something Special which cost £4.99 for eight episodes). I have a number of baby friendly apps on there which he loves (I'll do a separate post about these another time). And the plane had Pingu on the in-flight entertainment so he watched some of that too.


  1. flying with little ones can sometimes be a trial, shame you were delayed but sounds like it wasn't too bad! {& it always could have been worse!}
    i hope you get to catch up with the comic relief bake off on i-player, & have a great time in Lewes, we're next visiting in half term & i'm hoping to get a little wander round the shops time whilst the boys go to the football, i can recommend wickle & the polish pottery / cafe shop, it's right at the top, past the castle,

  2. Just watched the first ep of Bake Off. Love it. And I love Wickle too - can't wait to have a rummage in there as well as in the Patchwork Dog and Basket. My friend gave me vouchers for there so I can do some guilt free spending on lovely fabrics! Happy weekend x

  3. What a star indeed! We also love What the Ladybird Heard.

    Brilliant first photo, could totally be an album cover.

    Hope you all had a lovely Icelandic time xx